May 6, 2014
• College Soccer News: Fifteen of the Best
Mentor, motivator, teacher, friend.
These words, although different in definition, all fall under the same umbrella when used to describe University of Wisconsin men’s soccer associate head coach, Keith Tiemeyer.
And as College Soccer News released its “Fifteen of the Best” feature on Division I men’s soccer’s top assistant coaches, another key term comes to mind regarding Tiemeyer: essential.
In just his fifth season at UW, the fourth with Wisconsin head coach John Trask at the helm, Tiemeyer played an integral role in helping the Badgers earn their first NCAA tournament berth in 18 years, making himself even more of a worthy recipient for the recognition.
As UW’s director of recruiting, Tiemeyer reeled in some of the country’s most skilled prep players, while also tapping into the local soccer community around Dane County and beyond. What has resulted is a soccer resurgence not seen in Madison since the early 1990’s when the Badgers won their one and only national title.
“For Coach T to be recognized as one of the top assistants is a great honor and one that is long overdue in my opinion,” Trask said. “His ability to recruit, train and provide insight for me, while being a mentor for our younger assistant coach (Ian Sarachan) are some of the important things he does for the program.
“There is no better assistant in the country and I know Wisconsin would not have made it back to the tournament if it wasn’t for Coach T’s hard work.”
Tiemeyer’s journey to Wisconsin began in 1994 at the University of Denver. There he spent six seasons as an assistant coach before later returning to his alma mater, Regis University (Div. II), where he took his first head coaching gig.
In 2009, Tiemeyer returned to the Division I ranks and now, with half a decade of experience under his belt at UW, serves as a model of consistency and success for his colleagues.
“For me personally, being able to come into a situation where I’m working alongside coaches who have such an enormous knowledge base is fantastic,” said Sarachan, who will enter his second season at Wisconsin in 2014. “The chance to work with someone who is not just a great coach and mentor, but also a tremendous person has made my transition to UW that much easier and enjoyable.”
Aside from helping the Badgers earn 14 victories in 2013, the most since 1995, Tiemeyer's recruiting efforts continued to pay dividends for the program as Tomislav Zadro and current Houston Dynamo center back, AJ Cochran, earned 2013 Big Ten Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors, respectively. The duo became the first pair of Big Ten players from the same school to sweep the conference's top honors.
|“There is no better assistant in the country & I know Wisconsin would not have made it back to the tournament if it wasn't for Coach T.”
In Tiemeyer's third season at Wisconsin, the Badgers recorded their most wins since 2003, finishing the 2011 season with a record of 10-8-2 and earning a semifinal finish at the Big Ten tournament. Wisconsin got its first true victory at the conference tournament with a 2-0 win over Michigan in the opening round that season as well. Tiemeyer also helped coach UW to a 2-0 shutout victory over then-No. 6 ranked Indiana on Oct. 2, marking Wisconsin's first win over the Hoosiers in 16 years.
And his success has not been limited to just his time at UW.
In his first head coaching role at Regis in 2007, Tiemeyer guided the Rangers to an 11-7-1 record, matching the best mark in school history. That included an impressive 9-4-1 record in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.
Despite achieving an incredible amount of success at all levels of college soccer, Tiemeyer praises his current staff and their diligent work in helping to make his current job that much easier.
“All credit goes to Ian, (assistant head coach) Stan Anderson and obviously (John Trask), but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent work performed by the UW support staff and the tireless efforts of our other assistant coaches who have worked here before me,” Tiemeyer said. “To be recognized by College Soccer News as one of the top assistant coaches in the country is very special and I have my colleagues and these players to thank for helping me earn the honor.”
Trask made it clear when he was hired by Wisconsin back in 2010 that one of his many goals was to return UW to national prominence. With Tiemeyer on board, the Badgers have seen their hard work come to fruition in just four years and at this rate it seems it won’t be much longer before another descriptive term will be associated with Tiemeyer: champion.